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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom…

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967)

by Tom Stoppard

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,45770927 (4.21)156
Recently added byFloyd3345, erasegrace123, private library, Spinelli_Math, vhl219, miri12, roniweb
Legacy LibrariesLeslie Scalapino, Edward Estlin Cummings
  1. 101
    Hamlet by William Shakespeare (guyalice, kxlly)
    guyalice: Reasons should be obvious
  2. 60
    Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (guyalice)
    guyalice: Stoppard's play's been called "Waiting for Hamlet," as both are existentialist plays featuring a pair of clueless (yet tragic) idiots.
  3. 20
    The Reduced Shakespeare Co. presentsThe Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr by Adam Long (meggyweg)
  4. 10
    The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard (palaephata)
  5. 00
    Our Town by Thornton Wilder (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Both (in vastly different tones) play with the awareness that the events are part of a play
  6. 00
    The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade by Peter Weiss (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Plays about plays with absurdist humor

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» See also 156 mentions

English (69)  French (1)  All languages (70)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
A brilliant play of wit and originality. I enjoyed every moment of it. ( )
  DanielSTJ | May 5, 2019 |
This was another charming variation on a Shakespearean theme, a dissonant song cycle extending out from familiar material. One rife with pauses and silence. Beckett in Elsinore.

I did not think this the genius to which many have ascribed.
Then again, I am old.

I did find the humor deft and the existential exploration of the verb to act most effective, a playful weaving of definitions underscored by a plaintive glance at the heavens, waiting for stage directions. George Bernard Shaw was an Irishman, not an atheist as was famously said. Less popular is the anecdote that Tom Stoppard's stepfather once growled, I made you British, boy.

There has been occasion enough this week to ponder personally what the cosmic Script has in mind. I would like to hunt down the film version of this while the material is fresh. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Quirky but funny. Has plenty of references to real, meaningful issues of reality, fate, language, power etc. Stoppard shows he had The Bard's insight, skill with wordplay and sense of humor. ( )
  DonaldPowell | Feb 5, 2019 |
Tom Stoppard writes witty, upside down plays from odd perspectives, and this is one of them. R & G, minor characters from Hamlet, are the focus here, and the events in Hamlet are viewed from their perspective. It's a comedy and one of the running jokes is that no-one can figure out which is R and which is G. There is some question as to whether the whole play is a flashback and R & G are already dead, or whether they simply cannot avoid their fate. I enjoyed the scene on the boat (when they are sailing with Hamlet to England) the most. Occasionally the fourth wall is broken. The play begins with a coin toss--and the question throughout the play is: rigged or chance. Another question the play confronts: how real is the theater? And its opposite: how real is life? ( )
1 vote deckla | Sep 16, 2018 |
My sisters and I were kind of obsessed with this play (and movie) when we were younger. So when I saw this book at a garage sale for ten cents, I had to buy it. Then I spent most of the afternoon in a lawn chair in my yard, reading it.

It was, of course, every bit as clever in this later reading. But it was perhaps more biting in its commentary on how much control we have over our own lives -- and when do we know if we're living our own stories, or are just side stories in someone else's play?

But as my friend Heather points out, "at least there is the comfort of companionship." ( )
1 vote greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
This is a most remarkable play. Very funny. Very brilliant. Very chilling.
added by keeper3014 | editThe New York Times
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead [is] verbally dazzling...the most exciting, witty intellectual treat imaginable.
added by keeper3014 | editThe New Yorker, Edith Oliver

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stoppard, TomAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Popkin, HenryEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stoppard, TomPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Two ELIZABETHANS passing the time in a place without any visible character.
Fear! The crack that might flood your brain with light!
I'm demonstrating the misuse of free speech. To prove that it exists.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the play. Please do not combine with the movie or the screenplay for the movie.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802132758, Paperback)

Acclaimed as a modern dramatic masterpiece, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead is the fabulously inventive tale of Hamlet as told from the worm’s-eye view of the bewildered Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters in Shakespeare’s play. In Tom Stoppard’s best-known work, this Shakespearean Laurel and Hardy finally get a chance to take the lead role, but do so in a world where echoes of Waiting for Godot resound, where reality and illusion intermix, and where fate leads our two heroes to a tragic but inevitable end.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:00 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Two minor characters from "Hamlet" offer a novel view of the melancholy Dane.

» see all 4 descriptions

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